HR 127, Real or Red Herring?

No doubt you’ve heard of HR 127, a gun control bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives. Mildly put, it would be a devastating blow to Second Amendment protected rights and the ability of law-abiding citizens to purchase, own and use firearms. Being such a radical bill, you have to ask a couple of questions. Is this something the Democrat led House, Senate and White House really want to pass right now, or is this just a distractionary bill designed to be negotiated away to gain votes for a more ‘acceptable’ gun control bill? 

HR 127, also known as the “Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act”, is relatively short. I strongly encourage you to go out and read it for yourself to understand the significance of it. The link to it is below. 

Here are some of the highlights: 

– All firearms must be registered by the owner within three months of passage, including where the firearm is or will be stored. 
– The firearm registry will be fully searchable to federal, state and local law enforcement, all branches of the military, all federal and state governments and all members of the public. 
– In order to obtain a firearms & ammunitions license, you must: 
— Undergo a background check.
— Get a mental health evaluation by an approved psychologist, including interviews with any former spouses and at least two other family members or associates. 
— Get 24 hours of mandatory training.
— Pay $800 annual payment to the government for firearm insurance. 
– The license to own firearms and ammunition must be renewed every year for five years, then every three years. 
– Additional licenses must be obtained for Antique Firearms Displays and Military-Style Weapons. 
– .50 caliber ammunition is banned.
– Large capacity (greater than 10 rounds) magazines are banned. 

The penalties vary by section but go as high as fines of $100,000 to $150,000 and imprisoned not less than 25 years and not more than 40 years, or both.

The bill was introduced by a democrat representative from Texas, District 18, the Houston area, well known for her anti-Second Amendment stance. I’m certain having this bill come from a Texas legislator was part of the symbolism given Texas’s strong history and support of firearm rights. This bill has zero co-sponsors after six weeks. 

While the bill represents a near end state situation – the actual end state being the confiscation of all civilian owned firearms – it is a dramatic departure from their usual approach of small, incremental infringements meant to slowly chip away at firearm rights. This technique, carefully crafted over decades, has proven effective since each small infringement gets much less resistance than a single, jump-to-the-end law like this would. 

Is the full registration of all firearms and licensing of each and every owner part of the plan? Very much so, but they have been getting there by the ever so subtle technique of things like Universal Background Checks via state-controlled registration / background check systems such as California’s DROS (Dealer Record of Sales) system. DROS captures each firearm sold or transferred in the state and was expanded to include ammunition sales and transfers and “assault weapons” registrations. It is being further expanded to include firearm components. It is a one stop shop for all firearms, ammunition and their owners in the state.  Had California done this all at once, it would have galvanized firearm owners’ opposition and been impossible to pass. Instead, one “common sense” step at a time was easy to implement.  

HR 127 would undoubtably bring together opposition from around the country and across all political lines. Keep in mind during the past year, 21 million firearm background checks were conducted. Conservative estimates say that 40% of the purchases, 8.4 million, were made by first time firearm buyers. That is a LOT of new law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment protected rights to own a firearm. Given this new broad support of firearms, legislators supporting something like HR 127 would face grim prospects for re-election in two years, even in blue states. 

So, what is HR 127? My guess is a couple of things. It was done to see how much opposition a near end state gun control solution would receive if they tried to pass it and a smoke screen to allow them to sneak less controversial infringements like Universal Background Checks and so-called Assault Weapons bans into place. 

In fact, as I am writing this, the White House released a statement calling for more gun control on the third anniversary of the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The link to the full statement is also listed below, but this is the core of the call for action. 

“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets. We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.”

Even though it has been conclusively shown that this horrific tragedy could have been prevented dozens of times by local, county, state and federal law enforcement, state child and mental health services and the local school board – all with the laws on the books at the time – as well as the numerous people who simply looked away or hid instead of act, the Harris/Biden [sic] administration insists on using this example of gross government failure to push for more ineffective gun control. 

Should you contact your Representatives and Senators to oppose HR 127? Absolutely! But we also need to prepare for the tsunami of gun control bills about to be rammed through Congress before the midterm elections in 2022. Our best chance of protecting our Second Amendment protected rights are to stop these laws BEFORE they are enacted, not afterwards in the courts. 

Bob

HR 127: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/127/text

White House Statement: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/02/14/statement-by-the-president-three-years-after-the-parkland-shooting/

See also: Government Failures = More Gun Control on Odd Stuffing at: https://oddstuffing.com/archives/458

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